Exploring Computer Science--Teaching with Inquiry
Presented by Gail Chapman & Joanna Goode
Speaker Presentations and Keynotes
from the 2012 CS & IT Symposium
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Discussions related to broadening participation often focus on the content with little emphasis on the
pedagogical strategies that need to accompany content changes if we are to be successful. This
workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to delve into inquiry-based, equity focused
strategies by engaging in selected activities from the Exploring Computer Science curriculum. Activities
will be chosen to reflect the breadth of strategies that can be used, including but not limited to jig sawing
activities, pair and small-group collaboration, multiple solutions, and journal reflections. The workshop
leaders will explicitly model the inquiry-based design of the activities and facilitate discussions that draw
from the rich and varied experiences of the participants. Participants will also have the opportunity to
discuss and create extensions to these activities that would make them appropriate for CS Principles
courses at colleges/universities as well as AP courses taught in high schools.
No slides available.
Hands-on with Bootstrap
Presented by Emmanuel Schanzer
Teach your students to program...mathematically! Bootstrap teaches students to program their own
videogames in a unique, algebraic programming language. In Bootstrap, your students will discover a
structured approach to solving word problems, and use coordinate planes, graphing, functions and
variables, function composition, boolean logic, cartesian inequalities and the pythagorean theorem to
build a fully-playable videogame. This workshop will cover cutting-edge research in the field of math and
CS education, and model real classroom lessons. Come learn what Bootstrap is all about, discover a new
kind of programming, and start building your own videogame!
Jump Right In: Getting Started with Google Apps Script
Presented by Jan Kleinert
Apps Script can be a powerful platform for teaching, as students write code in a widely-used language
and can quickly create useful and engaging scripts and web applications. With a built-in cloud IDE and
scripts that are saved and executed on Google's servers, there's no development environment to set up
and no libraries or software to install, so students and teachers can simply open the script editor in a web
browser and jump right in. This workshop will introduce the capabilities of Google Apps Script, followed by
a hands-on workshop where teachers will build scripts ranging from simple custom spreadsheet functions
up through complex web applications with rich user interfaces. Laptop required.
No slides available.
Transition to Java Using Alice 3
Presented by Donald Slater
This workshop, designed for instructors of CS1/AP, will introduce teaching a course using Alice 3, a 3D
animation-authoring tool having built-in integration with Java. The workshop offers hands-on experience
programming with Alice3 and Java together. Alice3 uses a program visualization tool, enabling students
to "see" objects and work with object-oriented programming. Participants will see how to use Alice3 to
build virtual worlds and how to transfer these programs into a Java IDE. Participants will receive a thumb
drive containing Alice3 and sample virtual worlds developed as part of NSF-0736552, 0736697, and
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Big Data Unit
Presented by Tammy Pirmann
"Data and information facilitate the creation of knowledge." This session will start with an overview of the
Big Data Unit and how it can fit into a high school course. Participants will receive all materials used in the
unit including two large data sets for use with students. We start with a movie recommendation system
imported into Excel and analyzed with basic Excel features such as sort and filter. As the knowledge we
want to extract from the data becomes more complex, we pull the data into Access and write queries
against it to answer our questions. The second data set is for the movement of people in Portland, OR
and will be brought into Access for analysis. We will discuss options for extending this unit in multiple
ways. We will also be providing all necessary materials for an independent student project for the Big
Koding with Kodu: CS in the 3-8 Classroom
Presented by Peg Fisher & Pat Yongpradit
Kodu lets kids create games on the PC and XBox via a simple visual programming language. Kodu can
be used to teach creativity, problem solving, storytelling, as well as programming. Anyone can use Kodu
to make a game, young children, as well as adults, with or without design or programming skills. In this
workshop, participants will explore the Kodu environment, create simple interactive games and
simulations, and discover ready-to-use curriculum resources including video tutorials, lesson plans, and
student activities. A special segment will be devoted to exploring Kodu lesson modules for mathematics,
social studies, and science. In the math module, students study algebraic and geometric concepts by
exploring mathematical problems, examining relationships among data, and interacting with objects within
a three-dimensional world. In the social studies and science modules, students create interactive tours of
a country and a cell. Kodu is a free Microsoft teaching tool.
SNAP! and the "Beauty and Joy of Computing"
Presented by Dan Garcia
Snap! (Build Your Own Blocks) is a free, graphical, drag-and-drop extension to the Scratch programming
language. Scratch, designed for 8-14 year olds, models programs as "scripts" without names, arguments,
or return values. Snap! supports older learners (14-20) by adding named procedures (thus recursion),
procedures as data (thus higher order functions) structured lists, and sprites as first class objects
with inheritance. Participants will learn Snap! through discussion, programming exercises, and
exploration. See snap.berkeley.edu for details.
Stop Talking about HTML5 and Learn It!
Presented by Mark Lassoff
Some technologies have the potential to be paradigm-changing. By bringing commonality to multimedia,
hosting a 2D and 3D canvas capable of complex visualizations and gaming, and by creating a common
experience across platforms, HTML5 IS one of those technologies. HTML5 is, perhaps, one of the most
talked about new technologies in years. For many who prioritize up-to-date content in their classes the
time for talking is over. The time to learn the next major web (and mobile) standard is now! Bring your
laptop, because in this fast-paced workshop, participants will be encouraged to code along-with the
instructor. Initially the basics of HTML5 coding will be reviews. In the second section of the workshop
HTML5's new features will be demonstrated. In the last part of the session, the instructor will guide
participants through creating their own HTML5 application.
No slides available; please contact presenter directly with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday Opening Keynote:
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Policy Wonks and Teacher Advocates
Presented by Baker Franke & Cameron Wilson
While much of the "good fight" for CS education happens on a school-by-school, teacher-by-teacher
basis, equally crucial political battles for more and better CS education are fought at a
higher level -- in the halls of the US Congress and some state legislatures. But where and how do
bottom-up and top-down efforts meet? Many teachers are aware of some of the national and
state-level systemic issues that confront CS education, but may not feel empowered to have any
influence in the debate. And many policy makers and lobbyists in Washington D.C. fight for
teachers and CS education while feeling disconnected from some on-the-ground realities that
affect, not just CS education, but K-12 education in general. In this talk, Cameron Wilson, Policy
Director for ACM, and Baker Franke, a high school CS teacher and CSTA Leadership cohort
member for Illinois, will discuss how national policy objectives can and should be brought home to
the local level, and how and why everyday classroom CS teachers should join the fight and be
empowered to make a difference.
Tuesday Concurrent Sessions
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Collaborating to Engage Underrepresented Youth in CS
Presented by Mylene Padolina, Karen Peterson, & Vicky Raya
This presentation by the Computer Science Collaboration Project will provide computer science
and information technology teachers with resources and strategies that help strengthen the
capacity of K-12 formal and informal programs and will introduce exemplary practices enlisting
the best research knowledge currently available for engaging underrepresented and minority
youth in computer science. Participants will engage in interactive collaboration exercises, receive
an overview of resources and lessons learned, and learn about CSCP mini-grant projects
currently engaging K-12 youth with disabilities and Hispanic/Latino youth in computer science.
Funded by the National Science Foundation's Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC)
Program, the Computer Science Collaboration Project uses the most successful elements of the
National Girls Collaborative Project to connect and build collaborations among the various
organizations that are part of the BPC community, specifically focusing on outreach to and
collaboration with persons with disabilities, African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians,
Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and women.
ECS through Inquiry: Teaching as Facilitation and Reflection
Presented by Gail Chapman, Joanna Goode, Kim Merino, & Gilberto Sosa
Discussions related to broadening participation often focus on content with little attention to
pedagogical strategies that need to accompany content changes if we are to be successful. In
this session, we will examine the critical topic of inquiry-based teaching and student learning in
computer science through the lens of Exploring Computer Science, a high school computer
science course targeting underrepresented groups of students in Los Angeles. We will provide a brief
overview of Exploring Computer Science and then focus on what we are learning about
teaching and learning computer science in an inquiry-based, equity-focused classroom. Our
panel will reflect on the rewards and challenges of teaching and supporting students. We will also
discuss issues of equity as they apply to student learning and engagement. Finally we will
dialogue with the audience about the challenges of teaching with an inquiry approach and how
best to support students.
No slides available.
End-to-end Introductory Python in the Browser
Presented by David Pritchard & Troy Vasiga
Computer Science Circles (cscircles.cemc.uwaterloo.ca)
is a website where anyone can learn to program in Python, using no software other than their web browser. Over 500 users have
solved problems on our site. The two core ideas are using auto-grading technology, and
interspersing text and exercises in a natural fashion. The website implementation takes
advantage of modern tools including WordPress and ajax. Our goal is to reach a very broad
audience; we picked Python since it has friendly syntax but is still a real-world language. The
content ranges from "Hello, world!" up to recursion and computational efficiency. Additional
features integrated into the site include a rich editor, a visualizer, and tools for teacher-student
interaction. In the first half, we explain the technologies behind the site and our pedagogical
approach. The second half will consist of discussion plus a hands-on component where everyone
is invited to use the site.
News Flash-AP Computer Science A
Presented by Renee Ciezki & Jody Paul
The Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science A course is an essential component of a
comprehensive computer science program. This session is designed for current APCS A
teachers, prospective teachers, and anyone interested in learning more about the course, the
exam, or the scoring process. Jody Paul, Chief Reader, and Renee Ciezki, Question
Leader/College Board Advisor, will share results from the 2012 AP Computer Science A Exam
Administration. They will also announce exciting changes coming soon to the APCS A course.
Project-Based Game Design for Social Causes
Presented by Pat Yongpradit
Game programming can be more useful than just increasing enrollments in computer science
courses. Programming games for social causes allows students to create technology that is both
innovative and socially relevant. Students can use video games to address social issues such as
poverty, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, and other topics that reflect student values. In addition,
interdisciplinary teams can mimic the reality of teamwork in professional computer science (CS)
careers. And as an added benefit, students can easily create and deploy applications and games
to a global marketplace using XNA Game Studio. This presentation will showcase a project-based
curriculum approach that is designed to meet rigorous CS learning standards while
addressing social causes. Teachers can use the curriculum resources to build excitement in
introductory courses, enhance existing CS courses, and extend the learning from AP CS into
additional advanced courses.
Tuesday Concurrent Sessions
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
CS Education Advocacy: Lessons from Hogwarts
Presented by Kim Wilkens
The need for computer science education advocacy means there are big issues that need to be
addressed, like equity, job preparedness, and national competitiveness. We need input and buy-in
from a wide variety of stakeholders in order to solve these issues, but I believe we are
discovering that everyone is not on the same page or even able to translate what the page says
when it comes to computer science. How can we communicate across this divide? Is there a
common language we can speak? Maybe we need a little magic to break down the barriers. This
session will draw on lessons from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to tell the story of
CS and help bridge the translation gap that keeps so many students, parents, teachers,
administrators, and policy makers from truly understanding the amazing possibilities that CS
Guided Inquiry Learning for Computer Science
Presented by Clif Kussmaul & Tammy Pirmann
This session introduces participants to process-oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL) in
computer science. POGIL has been developed, and validated over the last 15 years, primarily in
chemistry education. In POGIL, teams of learners (typically 3-5) work on scripted inquiry activities
designed to help them construct their own knowledge, often by modeling the original processes of
discovery and research. Teams follow processes with specific roles, steps, and reports that
encourage individual responsibility and meta-cognition. Studies generally find that POGIL
significantly improves student performance. We will begin the session with introductions and brief
review of some relevant background. Second, teams of attendees will work through a sample CSPOGIL
activity to understand how it works. We will conclude with a review of POGIL's key
concepts, history, and supporting research; pointers to additional information; and general
Oracle Academy Java Fundamentals and Programming
Presented by Caron Newman
Come learn about the Oracle Academy's new Java curriculum for secondary schools-Java
Fundamentals and Java Programming. Conceived to help educators awaken and deepen
students' interest in Java, computer science, and engineering, the curriculum is free and
complete with lecture materials, labs, assessments, and projects. The Java Fundamentals course
teaches object oriented programming to students with little or no programming experience. It is
fun, engaging, easy to use, and aligns to the Oracle Certified Associate Java Programmer
certification and the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science A exam in the U.S.
Piloting CS Principles: A First Hand Experience by K-12 Teachers
Presented by Rebecca Dovi, Ann Drobnis, Baker Franke, Rich Kick, & Deepa Muralidhar
This session will describe what is going on at the national level with computer science education
and the movement underway to revolutionize our high schools with the introduction of a new
(proposed) Advanced Placement computer science course. You will then hear from four teachers
currently piloting the new course. They will describe their experiences, thoughts, and plans for the
future with regard to the new course. They will also share their resources and answer any and all
questions about what you may experience in the coming years with the new course.
Rocking Robotics and Creative Computing
Presented by Eric Walters
A key question for educators is: how do we develop and implement a creative, innovative, and
challenging curriculum in computer programming and robotics for females. In this workshop,
participants will discuss the Marymount School Computer Programming Initiative, including a
review of pedagogically sound, class-level appropriate programming languages. Participants will
also discuss mechanisms for connection programming and robotics to art and design, to
interdisciplinary topics, and to existing curriculum. Strategies for program design, assessment,
and faculty professional development will also be included. Participants will receive a copy of our
K-12 Computer Programming and Robotics Curriculum as well as additional articles for review
Tuesday Concurrent Sessions
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Broadening Participation: ECS and CS Principles
Presented by Owen Astrachan, Gail Chapman, & Brook Osborne
Exploring Computer Science (ECS) and CS Principles (CSP) are national initiatives aligned to
different degrees with Level III of the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards. Both programs
aim to broaden participation in computer science by moving away from traditional pedagogy and
content. The curricular frameworks developed for ECS and CSP share a great deal of content,
designed with similar goals, but often with different learning objectives. ECS integrates computer
science concepts, inquiry-based teaching and learning, and an equitable classroom culture to
broaden participation in computing. CSP was envisioned as a national initiative with a mandate to
broaden participation in high schools and colleges via an Advanced Placement Exam, but without
a strict pedagogy. This session is modeled as a debate and a town-hall meeting in which the
participants (including the audience) discuss how the programs are broadening participation.
Building Bridges and Breaking down Barriers
Presented by Margot Phillipps & Troy Vasiga
There are a number of barriers to fully involving secondary school girls in computer science and
programming. These include perceptions that CS is a boys' domain and that it has little social
relevance. Students also do not understand the value of CS courses and lack knowledge of
career opportunities. The Programming Challenge 4 Girls (PC4G) provides a short strong impact
to overcome these barriers. It is a one-day event that introduces girls to programming through a
team-based challenge in Alice while their teachers receive their own professional development.
And everyone shares in a great prize winning experience. PC4G events are hosted by local
institutions that benefit by showcasing their programs to girls at a formative age and establishing
relationships with local high school teachers which may lead to further opportunities for
collaboration. Any institution interested in engaging more girls in computing, improving teacher
knowledge, and building stronger relationships with schools can replicate PC4G.
Exploring Computational Thinking in Math and Science Classrooms
Presented by Phil Wagner
Computational thinking abstracts the principles of computer science and engineering and applies
these principles to all domains. Learn and share ways in which we can use computational
thinking to bring core curriculum into the computer science classroom as well as bring computer
science into the core classroom.
No slides available.
HTML5 101: The Future is Here
Presented by Peg Fisher
HTML5 will be the new standard for HTML, XHTML, and the HTML DOM. The previous version of
HTML originated in 1999 and needless to say the web is a very different place than it was then.
HTML5 improves interoperability by making precise rules on how to handle HTML elements.
Some of the new features in HTML5 are functions for embedding audio, video, graphics, clientside
data storage, and interactive documents. HTML5 also contains new elements like 'nav',
'header', 'footer', and 'figure'. Learn about the latest in web design and explore how you can
update your web design lessons with curriculum resources and student projects.
Introducing Computer Programming in Middle School
Presented by Patty Hicks
Computer programming at the middle school can be accessible to all students without killing your
budget! Come learn how Indian Prairie School District met their requirements for critical thinking,
communication, collaboration, and creativity by adding computer programming enrichment
activities to their middle school classes. This session will cover district goals, how each grade
level addresses these needs, tips and tools for engagement, and lessons learned.
Tuesday Concurrent Sessions
2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Fundraising for both Extracurricular and Curricular Projects
Presented by Kathleen Weaver
Need funding? In this session you can learn proven ways to get donations and grants for your
classroom and extracurricular projects. My successes included stocking my games programming
lab and funding two robotics teams from donations. If you need funding help (and who doesn't?),
come learn some tips, tricks, and tools to help you cover your classroom needs.
No slides available.
Gaming and Mathematics: A Cross Curricular Event
Presented by Beth Frierson, Sharon Jones, & Renada Poteat
Correlating math and computer science for high school students can be a bit of a challenge;
unless, you..."Get Your Game On." This presentation demonstrates how computer science
teachers, along with math teachers, were able to collaborate with each other and show the
students how closely related computer science and mathematics really are. The teachers used
Algebraic expressions as a foundation for students to build computer games with BYOB/Scratch
for a fun and exciting three-day afterschool workshop. The results were much more than either
the teachers or the students expected.
How to Introduce FRQ's Early in AP Computer Science
Presented by Ria Galanos
AP Computer Science is a cumulative subject, where topics build on previous knowledge. The
Free Response Questions (FRQs) on the APCS A test require students to know both common
control structures and more advanced topics (collections, GridWorld). Advanced topics are
usually taught later; therefore, exposure to FRQs occurs much later. This session will show
teachers how to introduce FRQs within the first month of APCS by focusing on the problem
solving within the question. When teachers use FRQs, students better understand how to analyze
a problem in order to develop a solution for it. Students also develop the tools necessary to
completely solve (and code) FRQs. Participants will be shown two ways to approach problem
solving. The first involves a template which guides students through analyzing the problem while
the second provides a more open-ended solution. The session will end with the participants being
given a set of additional FRQs that are suitable for problem analysis without knowing Java.
Download presentation as PDF
Mobile Programming Throwdown
Presented by Dave Reed (Moderator), Ricky Roy, Alfred Thompson, & David Wolber
Courses in mobile platform development are becoming increasingly popular in high schools and
colleges. Students appreciate the relevance of mobile apps, while instructors appreciate teaching
programming concepts to motivated students. For the instructor considering adding mobile
development, however, the choices of platform and development tools can be daunting.
Workshops and tutorials are available to provide some guidance, but they usually focus on only
one platform and rely on prebuilt packages of code that hide the development process. In
contrast, this session is designed to give a high-level overview and demonstration of the three
major mobile platforms: Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. Experienced programmers will
describe the features of each platform and then develop a common app from scratch using
available programming tools. In this way, the audience will be able to follow the actual
development process and compare the three platforms under the same conditions.
Presented by Stuart Reges
For over ten years the annual conference sponsored by the Special Interest Group for Computer
Science Education (SIGCSE) has included a "nifty assignments" panel. In this session, the
presenter will describe the nifty archive that has grown out of that series of panels and the
experiences he has had with these assignments. The presenter has been invited to include four
of his own assignments to the archive over the years and also uses many others. Four nifty
assignments will be presented in detail and three will be demonstrated. Password-protected
support materials will be made available for all six assignments. The presenter will describe what
he thinks makes an assignment nifty so that the experience will provide good ideas even if a
teacher doesn't decide to use these particular assignments. These assignments are most
appropriate for a programming class that uses either Python or Java.
Tuesday Closing Keynote:
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Industrial Software & Magic
Presented by Alex Suter
In this session I'll go over some of the ways I learned about working with computers, at home and
at school, and how they come in handy in my day-to-day work at Industrial Light and Magic
working directly with users and in a very large and diverse code base. I'll talk about some of the
practical matters of being part of a large team of developers, how our users interact with us and
the software, and show some behind the scenes footage of the amazing visuals created with our
software from recently released movies. I'll also show some amusing examples of how those
amazing visuals can go so very wrong when the software isn't just right.
No slides available.